For all of his accomplishments during his football career, Tarboro native and former Washington Redskins running back Kelvin Bryant is being enshrined into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Thursday, May 2. Bryant got the call three weeks ago and was informed he was going to be inducted.
"It is a great honor to be inducted into the hall of fame," Bryant said. "It was kind of surprising to me, but it was a great surprise."
Bryant along with 10 others will be inducted during the 50th anniversary ceremony.
Bryant was one of the most explosive running backs in UNC-Chapel Hill football history, even though he was plagued with injuries throughout his four-year career at Carolina. Yet, during his career, Bryant averaged 5.5 yards per carry. He finished with one carry short of 600 and was at the top of his collegiate game in his sophomore and junior years. As a sophomore, he split time with Amos Lawrence at tailback, giving the Tar Heels one of the most dynamic duos at the position in Atlantic Coast Conference history. For his part, Bryant ran for 1,039 yards, including an 81-yard run against the University of Virginia and a 199-yard game against Duke. Then he exploded onto the national spotlight as a junior, getting 211 yards on 19 carries in the season opener against East Carolina, a game in which he scored an ACC-record six touchdowns. He had five more touchdowns a week later against Miami of Ohio and four in the third game against Boston College. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter in any of those games. He finished the season by averaging 6.7 yards per carry and became the school’s third all-time rusher and scorer. As a pro, he was named United States Football League Player of the Year in 1983 and MVP in the championship game. He also played for the Washington Redskins, where his coach, Joe Gibbs, once said,“When he’s healthy, he’s the best I’ve ever seen at coming out of the backfield.”
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame announced its 2013 inductees. The 11 new members are Bryant, Ron Francis, Wade Garrett, Bill Guthridge, Tommy Helms, Marion Kirby, Rich McGeorge, Hugh Morton (deceased), Bob Quincy (deceased), Marty Sheets and Mildred Southern.
They will be enshrined at the 50th annual induction banquet on the evening of Thursday, May 2, at the Raleigh Convention Center. An afternoon news conference will be held Wednesday, May 1, at 4:00pm at the N.C. Museum of History, home of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, located at 5 East Edenton Street in Raleigh.
“The achievements of this year’s class of inductees enrich our state’s remarkable sports heritage, and they certainly earned the honor of joining the 289 men and women who have been previously enshrined,” said Dr. Janie Brown, president of the Hall. "This is our 50th class and we will have a program to celebrate this special time in our state’s sports history."
Banquet ticket information is available atwww.ncsportshalloffame.org or by calling (919) 845-3455.
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. The permanent exhibit N.C. Sports Hall of Fame at the N.C. Museum of History features significant artifacts donated by the inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.